Sharks survive, oust Kings on Thornton's OT goal

454546.jpg

Sharks survive, oust Kings on Thornton's OT goal

April 25, 2011

SHARKS PAGE SHARKS VIDEONHL PAGE NHL SCOREBOARD

LOS ANGELES (CSNAP) -- Joe Thornton knew exactly where he wanted to be as soon as the Sharks killed off a 5-minute major penalty that had continued into overtime. He got himself in front of the net.His instinct proved right, and he scored 2:22 into the extra session Monday night to give San Jose a 4-3 victory over the Los Angeles Kings and send the Sharks to a first-round series win."You've seen this whole series, weird things happen in front of the net. It just spit out nicely and I just gobbled it up," Thornton said. "I was just in the right place at the right time. It felt great."Kyle Wellwood, Jason Demers and Dany Heatley also scored for the Sharks, who wrapped up the all-California series in six games by winning all three OT games.."It's a good feeling and it's nice we don't have to play Wednesday night, we can rest," Thornton said. "But we still have a lot of work to do -- it was a tough series for us."
Justin Williams, Ryan Smyth and rookie Trevor Lewis scored for the Kings, who lost in the opening round for the second straight year and have won just one playoff series since their run to the 1993 Stanley Cup finals with Wayne Gretzky."To go out in the first round is really disappointing," defenseman Jack Johnson said.Gretzky attended the game, but even having the retired superstar on hand couldn't boost the Kings to a needed victory. Instead, they ended up losing all three home games in the series and all three overtime games - just like in the '93 finals when Los Angeles lost three straight OT games to Montreal."We had a 4-0 lead at home in Game 3 and two other OT games and were right there," forward Dustin Brown said. "The difference between winning and losing is that small. They found ways to get goals in OT and we didn't."Antti Niemi made 26 saves for the Sharks after being pulled in two of the last three games."We had the lead three times, but they kept coming back on us," Heatley said. "That 5-minute penalty kill was huge for us. That's sometimes how hockey works, you do a good job like that and you get rewarded at the end."Jonathan Quick stopped 31 shots for Los Angeles. He gave up 16 goals in the team's three home games."We fully believe we could have won it. That's why we're so disappointed," defenseman Drew Doughty said.The Sharks' Jamie McGinn received a 5-minute major for charging Brad Richardson and an automatic game misconduct at 16:37 of the third period, giving the Kings a power play for the final minutes of regulation."We don't do anything easy," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said.The Kings had four shots on goal, including two by Brown, that Niemi stopped to send the game into overtime for the third time in the series."Once we killed that off, we thought we had a good chance and we'll get the momentum after killing that," Thornton said. "We did, and we ended up winning the series after that."The Kings opened overtime with 1:37 left on McGinn's penalty, but they didn't manage a shot on goal."We didn't get a lot of opportunities," Johnson said. "They were very aggressive, which forced us to make plays a little quicker than we wanted to."It wasn't long after that Thornton found the left side of the net open and scored the winning goal, sending him sliding on the ice in celebration."It hit a skate and bounced off his tape and I got caught out of position," a dejected Quick said. "If we played a little better, we could've gone longer. We feel like we gave them a few games earlier in the series."The Kings rallied a third time to tie the game at 3-3 in the third period. Lewis scored the first playoff goal of his career on a power-play rebound at 11:39 with Demers off for interference.Heatley's goal off the right post on a broken play by the Kings gave San Jose its third lead of the game, 3-2 at 8:48 of the third period.
"It was great to see the big guy get the goal," Heatley said of Thornton's game-winner. "It was nice."The Kings tied the game 2-2 on Smyth's rebound goal 18 seconds into the third period.Demers caught Quick out of the crease to put San Jose in front 2-1 at 16:52 of the second period.The Kings tied the game 1-1 when Williams fired in a rebound on the power play at 13:27 of the second. Thornton received a double-minor for high-sticking after he struck Richardson in the mouth. Richardson wears a visor, but he pointed to his mouth and picked up something off the ice.San Jose led 1-0 on Wellwood's first goal of the playoffs at 2:58 of the middle period. Quick lost his stick and made a swiping move to his right to get it back, but he didn't and Wellwood went top shelf off Thornton's assist.Notes: Los Angeles was 5 for 24 on the power play in the series. ... Kings D Rob Scuderi briefly left the game in the second period after taking a skate blade near his eye in a collision with Sharks D Niclas Wallin along the boards. ... There were no goals or penalties in the first period, when the Sharks outshot the Kings 16-5. ... The Kings fell to 11-6 all-time in Game 6s.

A's spring training Day 8: Top pick AJ Puk attracts a crowd

A's spring training Day 8: Top pick AJ Puk attracts a crowd

MESA, Ariz. — The A’s are excited about 2016 top pick A.J. Puk, that much was apparent by the crowd the lefty attracted for his first “live” bullpen session Tuesday.

Among those watching closely were executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane, general manager David Forst, manager Bob Melvin and pitching coach Curt Young.

Puk, who shaved about 20 pounds off his 6-foot-7 frame over the winter, looked strong against a group of hitters that included touted infield prospects Franklin Barreto and Yairo Munoz.

Melvin in particular liked the way Puk, the No. 6 overall pick out of the University of Florida, worked his curve ball into the mix. That’s a pitch he hadn’t used since high school, but he dusted it off back in the fall instructional league with some encouragement from minor league pitching coordinator Gil Patterson, and he’s working to sharpen it this spring as a complement to his fastball, slider and changeup.

“It’s just nice to have another pitch that’s slower than my other three pitches,” Puk said before Tuesday’s workout.

“It’s a four-pitch mix,” Melvin said. “He’s really starting to distinguish between this slider and curve ball. It was quite a crowd around his cage too. When you’re a young kid you tend to notice that, but I thought he responded really well.”

Puk, 21, is rooming with shortstop Richie Martin, a teammate at Florida whom the A’s made their top pick in 2015. They also lived near each other in Tampa this offseason and worked out together.

Puk comes off very quiet upon meeting him, but Martin warns against being fooled.

“It takes him a while, but once he feels comfortable he’ll break out. You’ll see.”

Melvin was impressed with Puk’s physical shape, saying he’s fielded his position well in pitchers’ fielding drills.

CAMP BATTLE Jesse Hahn will start the A’s Cactus League opener Saturday against the defending World Series champion Chicago Cubs. It’ll be a chance for Hahn to make an early impression in his bid for the fifth starter spot.

“After the year he had (in 2016), it’s important for him this year. We have to show some faith in him,” Melvin said. “He performed well for us the year before. Last year wasn’t really consistent. We’ll try to get him out there and get him off to a good start.”

Kendall Graveman will take the ball in Sunday’s spring home opener against the Angels. Sonny Gray and Sean Manaea both will pitch Monday against the Giants and Jharel Cotton and Andrew Triggs will be among the group throwing Tuesday against the Indians.

PROSPECT WATCH: Sean Murphy, the A’s third-round pick in June, has shown a very strong throwing arm early in camp. Is it any wonder Melvin, an ex-catcher, was impressed?

“The kid can throw, it’s special,” Melvin said. “We really like him.”

NOTEWORTHY: Still no word on when reliever Santiago Casilla will arrive at camp from the Dominican Republic. Melvin said he isn’t concerned at this stage, and noted that Casilla has been working out at the team’s complex in the Dominican Republic and gave a motivational talk to the younger players there.

Cousins thanks Sacramento: 'Wouldn't trade it for anything'

Cousins thanks Sacramento: 'Wouldn't trade it for anything'

The Kings traded DeMarcus Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday, prompting the All-Star big man to post a heartfelt message on his Instagram account.

Words can't even express how hard it is for me to have to leave the city of Sacramento and all of the amazing people that I have met while out here. I gave it my all for you and you gave it right back. The most amazing fans on the planet and I just want you to know that your support has meant everything to me. It's hard to believe that it was seven years ago that this young kid from Alabama showed up in Sacramento scared and not knowing a soul. As I look back upon my time here, I wouldn't trade it for anything. I have met so many amazing people, many of whom went out of their way to make me feel right at home from day one. Each and every one of you have played such an important part in my life and helping me become the person I am today. I don't just consider you all as fans, you all are my family...and a couple thousand miles aren't going to change a thing. Thank you Sacramento. 
#LoyaltyisLove #sactownkingforever

Cousins, 26, averaged 27.8 points, 10.7 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 1.4 steals, 1.3 blocks and 34.4 minutes per game for the Kings this year.

Words can't even express how hard it is for me to have to leave the city of Sacramento and all of the amazing people that I have met while out here. I gave it my all for you and you gave it right back. The most amazing fans on the planet and I just want you to know that your support has meant everything to me. It's hard to believe that it was seven years ago that this young kid from Alabama showed up in Sacramento scared and not knowing a soul. As I look back upon my time here, I wouldn't trade it for anything. I have met so many amazing people, many of whom went out of their way to make me feel right at home from day one. Each and every one of you have played such an important part in my life and helping me become the person I am today. I don't just consider you all as fans, you all are my family...and a couple thousand miles aren't going to change a thing. Thank you Sacramento. #LoyaltyisLove

A post shared by DeMarcus Cousins (@boogiecousins) on